Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moon view

While driving home just before sunset a few days ago, I happened to glance over to the east and saw the moon rising, set against some beautiful sky colors. I parked near the local library and got out my new camera, hoping to capture some of the colors in the sky, but not really having a lot of hope -- it's difficult, if not impossible, to really get the same impact in a photo that you get from standing and looking at the sky.

I took several photos, but realized fairly quickly that none of them were going to be what I was hoping for. So I decided to try out my new Leica V-Lux 3's zoom lens, a 24x element, by photographing the moon on the highest zoom setting. I wasn't expecting much from this experiment, either -- most of the time, those come out blurry or washed out by the moons brightness.

So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I looked at the images later, on my computer, and saw that I had gotten one shot with some fascinating details of the moon's landscape. The craters on the lower left-hand side stood out in stark relief, giving me a sense of the moon's physical nature that I don't think I'd ever really felt before.

Here's the image taken with the full 24x zoom, unaltered.

I cropped it, to better see the details…

… and then applied Photoshop's "Auto-Levels" command to give it a bit more "punch". 

I like the more dramatic contrast in values, but I have to say that I think I like the previous, un-Photoshopped version a little bit more. -- PL


Mark H said...

Wow Pete! That camera can really zoom. Those pictures look fantastic. I'll bet that camera will take some really great bird pictures this spring. It is impressive how much detail your camera preserved when it was zoomed in so much. If I did that with my camera I would have gotten a blurry white spot without any detail. That's really impressive. I agree the non-Photoshopped version is better but, the Photoshopped version is still cool to look at.
Thanks for sharing!

Matt said...

Love the doctored photo! Agreed, it does pop better.

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes, you can see the craters in that picture. That's a really cool shot. Its always kind of amazing to me to think there's another celestial body that is so close to our planet we can get detailed photographs like this. Nicely done!